Fioricet, a combination drug made up of Butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine, can treat tension headaches and migraine as well as other ailments characterized by moderate to intense pain levels. Fioricet is an orally administered drug that comes in tablet form. Each tablet contains 50 mg of Butalbital, 325 mg of acetaminophen, and 40 mg of caffeine. Butalbital is an intermediate-acting barbiturate, acetaminophen a non-opiate non-salicylate analgesic and antipyretic, and caffeine a stimulant for the central nervous system. Other inactive ingredients found in Fioricet include crospovidone, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, stearic acid, pregelatinized starch, among some others.
To take Fioricet, adults should take one or two tablets every 4 hours. This is for those who require round-the-clock relief from pain. Most patients, however, do not need a regular dosing schedule and may take the drug only as needed. The maximum number of tablets that contain 325 or 500 mg of acetaminophen that can be taken in a day is strictly 6 tablets. If the drug contains 650 mg of acetaminophen, the maximum number of tablets that can be safely administered in a day is strictly 4 tablets. The length of time between each dose and the length of time the medicine should be taken depends on the problem that needs treatment.
To ensure its effectiveness and maximize its benefits, Fioricet should be taken as soon as the headache begins or as soon as the symptoms of migraines are felt. Medication at this point can easily relieve the pain symptoms or even prevent the headache from occurring. Patients are also advised to lie down in a dark and quiet area for some time after taking Fioricet to better relieve the stress and tension that’s causing the headaches.
Fioricet is usually only prescribed for adults. For children, the drug may be used in certain special cases, although there are no conclusive data to establish the safety and effectiveness of the drug in patients under 12 years of age. In special cases, dosage should be determined by a doctor. If you are taking the medicine for headaches, migraines, and other pain-related ailments, do not give any of your family members, regardless of age, some of your medicine. Doctors prescribe Fioricet specifically for each individual based on age and the medical problem being treated. When medicating on Fioricet, best not to operate machinery as the drug causes a feeling of lightheaded, confusion, intoxication, or overexcitement.
If you miss a dose, you may take it as soon as you remember. But if the time for the next dose is almost up, you can skip the dose that you missed and wait for your next dose. Do not take double dosage on your next schedule; you do not need to make up for missed doses.
Overdose and Abuse
Repeated use of the drug beyond what is prescribed and extended or prolonged use may lead to more severe side effects, overdose, or physical dependence or addiction. Your doctor can give you proper and safe prescription, which should be followed carefully and strictly. A patient should not take more of it or take it for a longer time than what has been prescribed. Overdose may occur on the basis of barbiturate poisoning, liver damage caused by acetaminophen, or caffeine overdose. If you suspect an overdose, emergency medical attention is necessary. Everyday use for an extended period of time increases chances of developing dependence on the drug. Dependence is usually signaled by a cessation of the pain-relieving effects of the drug or a doubling of your old symptoms. This means the body is developing immunity to the drug and requires higher doses to bring about the same relieving effect as you experienced when taking the drug. If this is observed, dosage should not be increased. Physical dependence is more likely in Fioricet patients than those taking other forms of barbiturates because of Fioricet also has a caffeine content. Taking too much of the drug may also cause liver damage and increases chances of developing other medical problems.
For those who experience frequent headaches, your doctor may prescribe two different medicines, Fioricet plus another similar drug. The purpose of this is to prevent continuous usage of Fioricet and avoid developing dependence on the drug. Usually, medicines used to prevent headaches takes a number of weeks before they start working. As the severity or frequency of headaches decrease, so should the number of medicines you take. If there is no improvement in your condition after several weeks, check with your doctor to see whether the dosage should be increased or the drug should be replaced altogether.